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Ed Sheeran

Smoke and mirrors boosts Maori spend

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New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says Budget promises to spend more on Maori development amount to smoke and mirrors.

Maori Party co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox say they secured $122 million to support whanau aspirations bringing more than $2 billion to the amount the Maori Party has gained for Maori since it joined the National-led Government.

Mr Peters says there is no sign of that money on the streets of Tokoroa or the roads of Hokianga.

He says Mr Flavell’s much trumpeted Maori housing initiative has only produced 11 completed houses in the past two years.

"Eleven houses and 66 consents. You can't live in a consent. A consent is a piece of paper. That's where all that money went. So when I hear them talking about all this money allocated to Maori for these purposes and look at the past two years, it is seriously a smoke and mirrors exercise", says Mr Peters.

Winston Peters says many of the Budget announcements were of money or programmes recycled from previous years and overall there was little relief for people on low incomes.

FULL INTERVIEW WINSTON PETERS

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